The Philistines and their Northern Relatives

The Philistines—perennial enemies of the Israelites in the Bible—were one of several tribes of “Sea Peoples” from the Aegean who invaded and colonized the eastern shores of the Mediterranean in the 12th century B.C.E. While the Philistines were concentrated in what is now the Gaza Strip, other tribes lived along the northern coast of Israel as well as in Syria and Lebanon. They were a force to be reckoned with:

In wave after wave of land and sea assaults [the Sea Peoples] attacked Syria, Palestine, and even Egypt itself. In the last and mightiest wave, the Sea Peoples, including the Philistines, stormed south from Canaan in a land and sea assault on the Egyptian Delta. According to Egyptian sources, Ramesses III (c. 1198–1166 B.C.E.) soundly defeated them in the eighth year of his reign. He then permitted them to settle on the southern coastal plain of Palestine. There they developed into an independent political power and a threat both to the disunited Canaanite city-states and to the newly settled Israelites.

Read more at Bible History Daily

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Philistines

 

As Hamas’s Reign of Terror Endures, the International Community Remains Obsessed with Jews Living in the Wrong Places

On Thursday, foreign ministers of the G-7—the U.S., Canada, Japan, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy—along with the EU, made an official “statement on the situation in the West Bank,” an area where they are very concerned, it appears, that too many Jews are dwelling. In particular, the G-7 condemned Israel’s decision to grant municipal status to five ad-hoc villages built without proper permits. Elliott Abrams comments:

I can see “condemning” murder, terror, kidnapping, and “rejecting” that legalization. Indeed in the next sentence they “reject the decision by the government of Israel to declare over 1,270 hectares of land in the West Bank as ‘state lands.’” Building houses should not be treated with language usually reserved for murder.

The statement then added complaints about the Israeli settlement program more generally, and about Israel’s decision to withhold some tax revenues it collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Why does Israel ever withhold such funds? Sometimes it is in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack. Sometimes it’s domestic politics. But it’s worth remembering something else: the Taylor Force Act, which became law in 2018 and stated that the “Palestinian Authority’s practice of paying salaries to terrorists serving in Israeli prisons, as well as to the families of deceased terrorists, is an incentive to commit acts of terror.” Until those payments cease, most forms of aid from the U.S. government to the Palestinian Authority may not be made. The payments continue. It is not clear if the State Department is pressuring the Palestinian Authority to end them.

Such moral considerations are entirely absent from the G-7 statement. The statement may be correct when it says, “maintaining economic stability in the West Bank is critical for regional security.” But it should be obvious that ending the pay-for-slay program and rewards for terrorism is even more critical for regional security. It’s a pity the G-7 did not find time to mention that.

The statement, it’s worth noting, appeared on the U.S. State Department website.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Europe and Israel, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy, West Bank